How to Stop Cheating in Social Media Contests

As long as there have been sweepstakes, there have been cheaters. Digital sweepstakes and certainly social media sweepstakes have only opened up the floodgates for unethical entrants to hijack the prizes. To make matters worse, many small businesses and agencies are grossly unaware of these sweepstakes pitfalls. I originally touched on this topic in my blog post Why Voting Contests are Always a Bad Idea.

Different Types of Cheaters

There is a wide variety of ways entrants can cheat. Here are just a few.


This one is very old school. It is rare to see entry pads and ballot boxes in stores anymore. Back in the day a cheater would swipe the whole pad, fill them all out and stuff the box. If you own a restaurant or shop and still put out a fish bowl to collect business cards, go through all of the entries before selecting a winner.


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